A public hearing will be held in Lorton, Va., on Thursday, February 7, 2019, on proposed changes to regulations on the use of Electrically Assisted Bicycles, or e-bikes, in Fairfax County and NOVA Parks.
The hearing will cover proposed changes to Park Authority Regulation §1.14 Motor Vehicles and Traffic. Under the proposal, the regulation would define an e-bike and clarify distinctions between e-bikes and mopeds. E-bikes would be allowed anywhere traditional pedal-powered bikes are allowed. Mopeds would be allowed only where motor vehicles are permitted.
As part of the proposed change in regulation, draft guidelines for the use of e-bikes within Fairfax and NOVA Parks’ will be presented. These guidelines outline the type and level of performance for e-bikes that are suitable for use within Fairfax and NOVA Parks. Draft guidelines define e-bikes as a “wheeled vehicle equipped with (i) pedals that allow propulsion by human power and ii) an electric motor with an input of no more than 750 watts that reduces the pedal effort required of the rider. This applies to both road and mountain style (e/MTB) e-bikes.” These use guidelines will be recommendations only and will not be enforceable by law.
The guidelines for e-bike riders would call for them to yield to pedestrians and equestrians and keep e-bike speeds below 20 miles per hour. In addition, e-bike riders would be strongly encouraged to operate only in areas where traditional bicycles are allowed and to not disturb wildlife, livestock or domesticated animals on park property. E-bike riders would be expected to follow the same regulations and rules regarding access to the parks as other visitors. Riders would assume responsibility for the safe and respectful operation of their e-bike. For more information, visit Electrically Assisted Bicycles.
The joint hearing to be held by the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority Board and the Fairfax County Park Authority Board will begin at 7 p.m. at The Jean R. Packard Center at Occoquan Regional Park, located at 9751 Ox Road, Lorton, VA.
Please contact the NOVA Parks Operations office at 703-359-4612 or NOVAParks@nvrpa.org to sign up to speak at the public hearing, or the Fairfax County Park Authority Public Information Office at 703-324-8662 or via email at Parkmail@fairfaxcounty.gov All speakers are welcome; it is not necessary to sign up in advance.
Written comments must be received by March 11, 2019 to be included in the official public record. Please send your feedback to either the Fairfax County Park Authority or NOVA Parks: